Cheaters Sometimes Win

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Deflate-Gate has turned out to be a brilliant tactical development for the New England Patriots, who I predict will win this year’s Super Bowl.

The Pats have evolved this week from a pack of blatant cheating weasels to the unfairly persecuted, a dramatic transition last seen in Godfather II. In front of a special Senate Committee, Michael Corleone denied he was remotely involved in organized crime, and urged the committee to absolve him of guilt with the same enthusiasm with which they accused him. Meanwhile, Tom Hagen was screaming, “This committee owes an apology Senator!”

Patriots owner Robert Kraft pulled a similar trick out of his hat a few days ago when he lectured the press and the public about accusing his organization of cheating. Kraft was crafty in his wording, but only an idiot couldn’t see through it. He said “if” the NFL’s investigation turned up no evidence of wrongdoing, he hoped that everybody was prepared to beg the Patriots for forgiveness. Or something like that. He didn’t say “when” the NFL finds no evidence of wrongdoing. He was spitting into the wind. Just like Michael Corleone.

But here’s the thing. Corleone was a gangster. And the Patriots did cheat. And no smoke-and-mirrors, fancypants dialogue can wriggle human beings from hard, cold reality.

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Chris Christie’s Magical Ride With the Cowboys Is Over

It wasn’t a good weekend for noted Dallas Cowboys fan Chris Christie. His team lost, on a controversial call, and well, you can see his reaction in the photo above.

Christie’s fellow Republican, former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, was … not sympathetic.

Well. Now that’s over, Christie can finally decide if he wants to run for president. And excellent timing. We think the best way to run for president is to pick a swing state and then alienate all the voters in that state who love the team you’ve been dissing lately. Electoral gold.

Jerry Jones Paid for Chris Christie’s Cowboys Trips

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Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones paid the cost of Chris Christie’s travel — including a private jet — to Sunday’s NFL playoff game featuring the Cowboys versus the Lions. (You know: The one featuring “The Hug.”)

NJ.com reports:

Christie has now attended three games at the invitation of Jones, who invited the governor and picked up the tab, said Christie spokesman Kevin Roberts.

“Governor Christie attended the game last night as a guest of Jerry Jones, who provided both the ticket and transportation at no expense to New Jersey taxpayers,” Roberts said.

The governor’s office cited The Code of Conduct for the Governor, adopted under former Gov. Jim McGreevey, in Executive Order 77, which says the governor “may accept gifts, favors, services, gratuities, meals, lodging or travel expenses from relatives or personal friends that are paid for with personal funds.”

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This Thanksgiving, Ferguson Makes Football Seem Small

National Guard stand in front of the Ferguson Police Department Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. Missouri's governor ordered hundreds more state militia into Ferguson on Tuesday, after a night of protests and rioting over a grand jury's decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, a case that has inflamed racial tensions in the U.S.

National Guard stand in front of the Ferguson Police Department Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. Missouri’s governor ordered hundreds more state militia into Ferguson on Tuesday, after a night of protests and rioting over a grand jury’s decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, a case that has inflamed racial tensions in the U.S.

On Monday night, three days before a colossal NFL game between the Eagles and Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving, a major news story began playing out making the game seem pretty small.

The situation in Ferguson involves all of us. We can’t hide from it and it can’t be swept behind a wall of conversation about a football game.

What I do on 97.5 FM The Fanatic is sports talk, but it’s really life talk — conversation among people of different races, creed and colors. And when an issue like this explodes in front of us, it is our duty to talk on it. Conversation fosters understanding; it’s the only thing that can foster understanding because it’s the only way we can hear and attempt to understand another’s viewpoint. So to the people who tweet me with nonsense like “I thought this was a sports station; let’s talk sports,” I have the following message: Open your mind, grow and progress, if just for the sake of your children and future generations who should live in a society that’s not always at odds.

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The Big Lesson I Learned from Getting Injured

Dan McQuade spiking the ball, kind of

Photo by Mark Stehle, Invision

I accelerated to keep up, and then I felt it pull.

Though I hadn’t done much in the game, I was feeling pretty good. I never played real, organized football, but I had a long “career” of touch football in the street, tackle football at the playground and flag football in intramural leagues. But I hadn’t played any type of football in 10 years. And here I was, playing in a charity flag football game at Lincoln Financial Field.

The game was set up by NRG Energy, the energy company headquartered in West Windsor, New Jersey. NRG was nice enough to invite me to play in the game and donate a thousand dollars to a charity of my choice (One Step Away, Philadelphia’s homeless newspaper). Dave Spadaro announced. Swoop cheered us on.

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Ed Rendell Is OK with NFL Game Being Moved This Time

I tweeted the above joke yesterday. In 2010, a Vikings-Eagles game in Philadelphia was moved to Tuesday night because of snow. Rendell fumed over it, and the incident somehow led to a book by Rendell, A Nation of Wusses.

They’ve gotten quite a bit of snow this week in upstate New York, and Jets-Bills — originally scheduled for Sunday in Buffalo — has been moved to Monday at Detroit’s Ford Field. The NFL made the decision yesterday.

And, thanks to NJ.com’s Dom Cosentino, my tweet is no longer just a joke: We now know Ed Rendell’s feelings on the move. He’s okay with it this time!

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It’s 2014. Time to Stop Hazing.

Central Bucks School Board Member Geryld McMullen (left), Dr. David Weitzel, Superintendent for Central Bucks School District (middle) and Paul Faulner, School Board President listen to public comment on the recent hazing scandal which caused the cancellation of the 2014 football season with two games left.

Central Bucks School Board Member Geryld McMullen (left), Dr. David Weitzel, Superintendent for Central Bucks School District (middle) and Paul Faulner, School Board President listen to public comment on the recent hazing scandal which caused the cancellation of the 2014 football season with two games left.

I was a three-sport athlete in high school and played a Division I college sport, so I am not new to the concept of “team bonding.”

Athletic teams having the most success are usually the teams with talent, yes, but also ones that rely heavily on synergy — weaving together a team of individuals into the one, collective winning force. But where and when hazing rituals became part of such team building is unclear. And the recent allegations of such rituals at Central Bucks West High in Doylestown have tainted that institution’s proud football program forever.
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Central Bucks West H.S. Cancels Football Season After Hazing Reports

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The superintendent of the Central Bucks School District announced Thursday that the remainder of Central Bucks West High School’s football season has been canceled. The decision to cancel the rest of the season, Superintendent David Weitzel wrote, came after reports of hazing on the team, including rookies being forced to grab other players genitals. C.B. West was supposed to play rival C.B. East tonight in its homecoming game.

Other players were reportedly involved in waterboarding, per police, but the process was not quite the same as the torture: Players had towels draped over their head and were then lead into the shower.

“Appropriate team-building activities cannot be permitted to spiral out of control and become hazing,” Weitzel wrote. “As educators, we must do what is right for all of our students, who deserve to be treated with dignity and with respect.”

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Boyz II Men to Perform at Halftime During Eagles vs. Giants

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Philadelphia’s own Boyz II Men will make an exciting appearance at this Sunday’s Eagles vs. Giants game. R&B hit-makers and Philly natives Shawn Stockman, Wanya Morris, and Nate Morris will perform during halftime on Sunday, October 12th. The Grammy-winning group will put on a medley of their biggest hits and their newest tunes. Boyz II Men’s latest album, Collide, drops Tuesday, October 21st.

It looks like the Eagles are already warming up for Boyz II Men’s performance:

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